According to recent reports, using social media for one hour everyday destroys one’s sleep pattern. This comes almost a month after a former Vice-President for user growth of Facebook claimed that social media is destroying the society and that he has tremendous guilt about it.
Social media is by far one of the most debated issues today. Heavily criticised for its potential for misuse and overuse especially by the youth, it is simultaneously backed for being helpful when used properly. Some time back, Science Alert published an article which stated that Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Vice-president of user growth of Facebook said that social media platforms had become a means to “rip apart the social fabric of how society works.”
This is not only a big statement, but also a clear proof that social media is destroying the society. It is notable to see how he mentions that tools such as likes or comments are “short-term gratifications” rather than meaningful communication. This statement reflects that social media platforms were created as a pass time or to serve the purpose of a pleasure-seeking activity. For our ancestors, the idea of being connected to people far away was a luxury and also an impossibility. More importantly, the rapid growth of communication through social media by the masses raises a major concern- the concern being that meaningful communication might soon be in jeopardy.
It is no wonder that social media is causing so many mental issues today- it is because social media has been manipulating something as sensitive as communication. In the same article, Lizabeth M. Kim, a doctoral candidate in social psychology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies conducted an experiment by showing a fictitious comment where one user confronted another for making a sexist comment. The reactions varied vastly between males and females.
Understanding that the reactions of people depend on the category of people the social post targets and the interpretation of the reader is a huge precaution we ought to take. It is extremely important that we put these two factors into consideration before concluding anything on social media. Talking about the caution for the claim made by Mr. Palihapitiya, there are two things we must follow. The first point is that we should limit ourselves from using “tools” such as likes. Furthermore, we should follow it up by communicating more without social media, ie. we should try and look for alternative modes of communication. Social media should never be accorded the primary status, under any circumstances.
Feature Image Credits: Mashable